Former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar has diverticulitis again and will not be fighting Junior Dos Santos this June, the UFC announced Thursday evening.
"I dodged a bullet about two years ago with diverticulitis, at time not knowing what the problem was," Lesnar said. "I've been able to maintain it to the point where it's been tolerable."
Lesnar, who has fought twice since first being diagnosed with the illness two years ago, said he has been dealing with the symptoms again for about three months now.
Dos Santos, who is coaching against Lesnar on the current season of "The Ultimate Fighter," will now fight Shane Carwin at UFC 131 in Vancouver on June 11. The winner is most likely in line for a title shot against champion Cain Velasquez, who is still recovering from shoulder surgery.
"I'll tell you one thing, I'm not retiring," Lesnar said. "This is not the end of my career - far from it."
With less than one month to go until the schedule fight against Dos Santos, Lesnar had a decision to make. Could he maintain the training regimen necessary to compete against a top striker in his prime and with a title shot on the line?
"We just didn't feel I could do that," Lesnar said. "Instead of putting my health and career on the line, I have to nip this thing in the bud."
Lesnar said his options now are treating the recurring illness with antibiotics or having surgery, but he has yet to decide. He spent 14 hours Wednesday at The Mayo Clinic getting tested, he said.
During his first bout with diverticulitis, diagnosed after UFC 100, Lesnar dropped 40 pounds and some had suggested he lost a little of his power and strength. Thursday, Lesnar (5-2) agreed, saying he believes he hasn't "been that guy" since coming back the first time.
Fighting is also secondary to health, and no one will dispute that. But from a fighting standpoint, UFC loses another top heavyweight contender in the short term. From a business standpoint, UFC loses its biggest pay-per-view star.
"Junior is a serious fight and not the type of fight that you would normally take on a 30-day notice, but I have a dream to chase and I do not have a lot of time to chase it," Carwin wrote on his blog. "This is an opportunity to put myself in contention for the title. I know my coaches will have me ready so I have everything to gain."